With its important historical museums and tours, Old Sacramento has been the hot spot in California’s capital for decades, but there are
numerous new kids on the block, impressive to say the
least, that are vying for attention nowadays. The beauty
is, you can have it all in this warm, welcoming and
Meetings Today recently checked in to The Citizen, a
hip boutique hotel brimming with old-school character,
then checked out some of the new, newly revitalized and
longtime draws in the city with Lucy Steffens, director of
travel media/film commissioner for Visit Sacramento.
For venues, Golden 1 Center is a shiny new addition
complete with bold architecture, plenty of fantastic
artwork and a food program that goes well beyond
traditional arena fare.
The arena, which debuted last October as the
centerpiece of the city’s redevelopment and the most
technologically advanced in the country, is home to
the NBA’s Kings basketball team and also stages major
concerts and other performances and sports events. It
is also designed with some of the most innovative and
attractive event venues for groups, from sleek skyboxes
to ultra-cool eateries and nightclubs. The arena can
accommodate intimate corporate groups all the way up
to large-scale conventions.
Food and drink is a highlight at Golden 1 Center,
and Sacramento’s tagline “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital,” is readily apparent in
the offerings, with 90 percent of Chef
Michael Tuohy’s ingredients sourced
within 150 miles of the venue. You’ll
also find plenty of local craft brew
and distilled spirits.
Art is another standout feature,
from the retro reclaimed neon
signs of restaurants and shops,
including the original Tower Records, to a Jeff Koons sculpture.
Golden 1 Center is a block from
DOCO (Downtown Commons),
a three-acre plaza that is opening
in phases this year with restaurants,
designer clothing stores, farmers markets and outdoor
concerts. Additionally, the Sawyer, a 250-room Kimpton
hotel, will debut this year on the Golden 1 Center site.
Meanwhile, the venerable Crocker Art Museum, a
top spot for group events, recently wrapped up a $100
million expansion. We stopped by the museum, boasting
gorgeous interior spaces with natural light. Its galleries
are adorned with intriguing artwork, from permanent
collections of European, American, ceramics and pho-
tography pieces to changing exhibits. The magnificent
Dale Chihuly glass sculpture definitely caught our eye.
The Historic R Street Corridor is another perfect place
to experience the city’s eclectic and evolving offerings.
Trendy cafes, bars and restaurants, many with sidewalk
seating, line the ever-revitalizing avenue, while artisan
outposts are popping up everywhere. Visiting a shoemaker, a vintage clothes store and a vinyl record shop
was a fun way to spend some leisure time in the city.
Meanwhile, the restaurant scene continues to
blossom. Sacramento has become renowned for its
slow food movement, considering the bounty of fresh
produce, dairy, meat, poultry, fish, wine and craft beer
nearby, and the many farmers markets and annual
events such as the Farm-to-Fork Festival, Farm-to-Fork Gala Dinner and others. We were lucky enough to
indulge in a couple standout eateries.
In Midtown, Mulvaney’s B&L, which
opened in 2006 in an 1893 former
brick firehouse, is as happening
and delicious as ever, with a
menu of New American fare
that changes daily based
on what’s in season
and locally available.
Proprietors Patrick and
Bobbin Mulvaney add-
ed the B&L acronym
(Building & Loan) to the
name as an ode to the
movie It’s a Wonderful
Life, in which George Bai-
ley’s family business, Bailey
Bros. Building & Loan, holds
the community together. Community is a key part of
Mulvaney’s popularity and success over the years, from
its customers to its purveyors to the beneficiaries of the
couple’s philanthropic work. In addition to Mulvaney’s in-
viting restaurant and garden patio, Next Door (the official
name), is dedicated event space filled with character.
One room holds 30 seated, and a larger room accommo-
dates 120 seated or 200 for cocktail receptions.
Another prominent couple on the Sacramento culi-
nary scene, Randall Selland and Nancy Zimmer, opened
Ella Dining Room and Bar about a decade ago as part
of their family of Sacramento restaurants, and that, too,
remains one of the city’s go-to places for fine, locally
sourced food and drink. Leading the locavore move-
ment in the center of bustling downtown, Ella, named
after the couple’s
local oysters with
a glass of bubbly,
a farm-fresh salad
or a creatively
Ella is a treat.
Private dining and
special events are
available in unique
By Lori Tenny
MAKING CAPITAL, CUTTING-EDGE STRIDES
GOLDEN 1 CENTER
GOLDEN 1 CENTER
R STREET CORRIDOR
Check out the May digital edition
and MeetingsToday.com for a video
profiling the new Golden 1 Center.